Will the Duterte-backed Velascos prevail in Marinduque?

Lian Buan

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Will the Duterte-backed Velascos prevail in Marinduque?


The Velascos are relatively new to the political game in Marinduque, taking on the Reyes dynasty. But one thing they have that the Reyeses don’t – a resounding endorsement from President Rodrigo Duterte.

MANILA, Philippines – Can the Velascos topple the Reyeses in Marinduque in the 2019 elections?

For so long, Marinduque was led by its “nanay (mother)” Carmencita Reyes who served as governor from 1998 to 2007 and then again from 2010 to 2019. Carmencita died in January.

Before Carmencita, his brother-in-law Luisito held the post from 1988 to 1995.

For the 2019 midterm elections, the Velascos are coming to the fore, led by no less than its patriarch, former Supreme Court justice Presbitero Velasco Jr who retired just last August 2018. (READ: Supreme Court justice’s family building a political dynasty?)

The older Velasco is running against Carmencita’s daughter Violetta for governor. Presbitero is with the ruling party PDP-Laban while Violetta is with the United Nationalist Alliance or UNA.

The Velascos are relatively new to the political game in Marinduque, taking on the Reyes dynasty. But one thing they have that the Reyeses don’t – a resounding endorsement from President Rodrigo Duterte.

President Rodrigo Duterte himself was the guest of honor in the last birthday of Presbitero’s son, Marinduque Representative Lord Allan Velasco.

In 2016, Duterte spent his first Christmas as chief executive together with Lord Allan and his wife Wen. The Velascos had also hosted birthday parties for Duterte in 2017 and 2018.

Meanwile from 2016 until his retirement, Presbitero concurred in all favorable rulings for the Duterte administration.

Lord Allan as next Speaker?

Lord Allan is running for the congressional seat without a Reyes opponent. UNA fielded Harold Lim instead.

During Lord Allan’s birthday party last November, both Duterte and the equally influential Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio both called him the next Speaker of the House.

“Let me raise the hands of a – Speaker raw sabi ni Inday? (Inday said he’ll be the next Speaker?) It proves the lack of politics here. You have the Speaker of the House,” Duterte had said.

Sara, of course, was instrumental in installing Gloria Macapagal Arroyo as Speaker of the House, unseating a Davao ally, Pantaleon Alvarez.

If Velasco aspires to be Speaker in the 18th Congress, he will likely go against Alan Peter Cayetano, who’s running for congressman of the 1st district of Taguig, and reelectionist Davao del Norte 2nd District Representative Antonio Floirendo.

Velasco vs Reyes

If the Velascos prevail in the midterm elections, it would be the cherry on top of a victorious run these years.

Lord Allan carried the Velascos to the local scene in Marinduque when he ran and won for Congress in 2010. 

In 2013, Regina Ongsiako-Reyes beat Lord Allan for the congressional seat.

But in 2016, the Supreme Court unseated Regina when it upheld the Commission on Election (Comelec) decision for not complying to the one-year residency requirement for elected officials.

Lord Allan took over her seat.

Presbitero inhibited in the decision but Regina accused the justice of wielding “his influence” on the high court. 

In 2013, even with Lord Allan losing, the matriarch Lorna had a seat at the House of Representatives representing the party-list group MATA.

Lord Allan’s sister Tricia, a lawyer, is the incument representative of MATA in the lower house. 

MATA promotes eye care for all Filipinos

In Torrijos, Lorna is running unopposed as mayor.

Things are looking up for the Velascos, and it’s another fortified alliance for the Dutertes. – Rappler.com

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Lian Buan

Lian Buan is a senior investigative reporter, and minder of Rappler's justice, human rights and crime cluster.